When you see an invitation to join an organization's monthly email, what is your response? If the word "groan" came blazing across your mind, then I would suggest it is time to make some changes to your email marketing program.
Is the monthly newsletter idea dead?
Nope, but calling it a monthly newsletter or putting those words in the subject line of your email is a sure way to find yourself ignored, and scratching your head wondering why no one joins. Please, I beg you, stop using those words right now. Email marketing is changing, but a few small tweaks can breathe new life into your emails and help you start building a more robust inbound marketing program.
The next generation of email marketing
As email tools become more advanced, your emails need to move away from the "blast and pray" style. People are going online because they are looking for information — your emails need to be tailored to meet them where they are in the buyer's journey, and they need to provide value. If this sounds like segmented lists and content that is tailored to a narrow audience you are right. If that sounds overwhelming and like too much work, have no fear — keep reading!
Do something before you do everything
Most organizations feel overwhelmed at the prospect of using an inbound marketing philosophy. I get it. The good news is that you can start small and build on success. All good inbound marketing starts with a great offer. By starting with your signup form, you are not only going to be improving the growth of your audience, but you are creating the fundamental building block of an inbound marketing program.
Focus on benefits and offer value
Most sign up forms are descriptive instead of emotive. Your signup form needs to make people believe that by giving up their email address, you will provide value. Shape your invitation around benefits and create something they will receive when they hit submit.
Since most people are online looking for information, I would focus on content. Take your best blog post, an article you wrote or even the presentation you gave at a conference and create a PDF guide. Be cautious of coupons and discounts; they work but as you probably know, most people have an email address they check infrequently and basically ignore — you don't want that email address. Even the most basic email programs allow you to set up an automated email to deliver content once someone takes your bait.
Don't forget this
An email address is a social contract. Seek to delight those who have given you theirs. Ask yourself this before you hit send, "Would I want to receive this?" If there is any hesitation, you better hit edit instead.
I can guarantee your new signup form will outperform your monthly newsletter signup. Will it fix your email marketing? It is a great start. When you start seeing results, you will be inspired to take more steps in building a better email marketing program.
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